Thoughts on stewardship and being a Disciple

This is the offering meditation given by Elizabeth Evans during the Jan. 28th worship service.

In preparation to be a newly elected, first-time trustee of this congregation, I read something that I have not read in a while and I want to share it with you.

The mission of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Independence, Missouri, with our long tradition of Christian service, is to reach out creatively to people in our community as servants of Jesus Christ; to compassionately meet the needs of all people in body, mind, and spirit; and to work together in unity while respecting our diversity.

What does or should this tell the world and community about us?

First, who or what are Disciples of Christ?

Identity Statement: We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.  As part of the one Body of Christ, we welcome all to the Table of the Lord as God has welcomed us.

Vision Statement: To be a faithful, growing church, that demonstrates true community, deep Christian spirituality and a passion for justice. (Micah 6:8)

Mission Statement;  To be and to share the good News of Jesus Christ, witnessing, loving and serving from our doorsteps “to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Confession:  As members of the Christian Church, We confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and proclaim him Lord and Savior of the world. (The Preamble to The Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

…with our long tradition of Christian service…

Founded in July 1835, now in our third location and fourth building, over 182 years of continuous service in Independence MO

…reach out creatively to people in our community as servants of Jesus Christ, to compassionately meet the needs of all people in body, mind, and spirit…

-    this congregation tackled the issue of providing clothes for the Independence School District – good quality clothes including new underwear, socks and shoes – allowing the students to shop for and choose their clothes
-    this congregation supports a special needs Boy Scout Troop – and has for years!
-    this congregations continues to provide food, supplies, meals, books, plastic bags, egg cartons, prayer shawls, baby blankets, and many other items to help those in our community

…to work together in unity while respecting our diversity

Think of things we have done: 

Jewish Seder meals during Passover, hosting a beginning Spanish congregation in our Fellowship Hall and an established black congregation in our chapel, sharing Lenten worship with other churches around the Square, bringing KC Wild Women and their music to this sanctuary, being in conversation with a gay Pakistani Muslim DACA law student. 

Of course I’m not listing the times when we forgot how to work together, let alone in unity – we are after all human beings, but it does remind us of our capability to work in the name of the Holy Spirit.

Every week we come together to worship, to care for each other, to study the Bible, and hopefully to continue to be led by the Holy Spirit on our journey as Christians. 

May we be reminded of our mission to be Christians in this, our community and our world, so that God’s kingdom can be here on earth, with us as his witnesses.

The deacons will now receive our tithes and offerings in support of this congregation and its ministries.